Indications have emerged that the nation may soon begin to earn less from crude oil as the monthly volume of Nigerian oil imports into the United States dropped to 2.89 million barrels in May, the lowest since February 2016.
Crude oil accounts for over 70 percent of the Nigeria’s revenue and more than 95 percent of its foreign exchange earnings, while the United States (U.S) was the country’s fourth largest export destination, according to a recent Foreign Trade Statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The latest data obtained by our correspondent from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) during the weekend showed that the United States reduced its importation of Nigerian crude oil by 62.65 percent from 7.75 million barrels recorded in April.
Nigeria may start earning less as U.S slashes oil importation by 62%
The depreciation in the demand of the commodity, which was the largest monthly decline in more than three years, was occasioned by the increase in the production of the U.S crude.
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An analysis of the data from the statistical arm of the U.S Energy Department revealed that, the country imported 10.03 million barrels of Nigerian crude in January.
It, however, reduced the importation of the commodity for the first time this year from 10.34 million barrels in February to 3.92 barrels in March, indicating 62.08 percent drop. In April, 2018, the U.S bought 7.7 million barrels of the commodity.
Within the first five months of 2018, the total Nigerian crude imports by the U.S stood at 34.93 million barrels, this is over 20 percent drop from 43.83 million barrels imported in the corresponding period last year.
The U.S crude imports from Nigeria was on a steady decline since it peaked 368.42 million barrels in 2010, it fell to 21.46 million barrels in 2014 and 19.86 million barrels in 2015 following the drop in the prices of crude oil in the international market.
However, the oil imports rose to 75.81 million barrels in 2016 and further increased to 112.92 million barrels in 2017.
But since crude oil production in the U.S began to boom in recent months, reaching 10.9 million barrels per day (mbpd) in June and 11 mbpd two weeks ago from 2.33 mbpd in April, the country has continued reduce its crude importation.
The EIA had reported last week that the U.S net import of the commodity fell by 1.05 mbpd to an average of 6.36 mbpd, with 10.7 mbpd and 1.7 mbpd as projections for the country’s crude oil production for 2018 and 2019, respectively.